THE NAME GAME! by Marissa Moss


From the "Daphne's Diary of Daily Disasters" series, volume 1
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 11
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On her first day of fourth grade, Daphne starts a diary that quickly becomes one of doodles and disasters and sets up a new series by the creator of Amelia.

In this series opener, her teacher, Ms. Underwood, mispronounces her name when calling the roll, so that classmates—except best friend Kaylee—are calling her Daffy. The very slim plot involves Daphne's discovery that the name game has happened to others. Her solution is to nickname her teacher, but she realizes that she’s not the first to call her teacher Mrs. Underwear. The first-person narrative includes familiar middle-grade scenes—a trip to the orthodontist and the boredom of watching her younger brothers’ soccer practice—sketches of people and things, even rebuses. In a companion story that publishes simultaneously, The Vampire Dare, her vampire costume turns out to be a disaster, prompting classmates to claim she has cooties. Again Daphne turns the tide by transferring the onus to a cootie-catching old doll. This light reading is made even lighter by the fact that the last quarter of each volume is taken up with extra material: lists and sketches of name disasters in the first and costume disasters in the second.

Hand-lettered on lined paper like Moss’ hugely popular Amelia’s Notebook (1995) and its sequels, this series is likely to appeal to the same middle-grade audience but feels a touch too familiar. (Graphic fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: July 12th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4424-1738-0
Page count: 80pp
Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2011


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